Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

There were some downsides to this Christmas season. The biggest was the fact that my sister couldn't come down to visit. Some lesser disappointment's were the fact that each day this week my pants have gotten tighter as all the home-baked goodies poor in. I love home-baked goodies. Then there's the half-done eye operation leaving me to experience all my holidays half blurry.

Now, on to the highlights of our holiday:
This is probably the last Christmas morning that Michael and I will get to sleep in. At a comfortable 8:30a.m., Addison woke up and we headed downstairs. Grandma and Papa were waiting at the door. After breakfast, we hooked up the computer and opened our video chat with my sis and her husband so they could "virtually" experience Christmas morning with us. Addison is such a good present opener. She'll help anyone who will let her. Luckily she got most of the gifts this year. She loved her stocking from Santa and all the goodies she pulled out of it. She also got a see-n-say and a couple of magnadoodles, lots of pretty clothes from grandma and a whole slew of interesting new toys. The hit of the day was by far her kitchen. She's been trying to microwave grapes ever since. I've found that she really does understand what the different appliances should do. She promptly puts her drink in the "fridge" after she's finished with it.

I do need to note that besides the generous gift of vision from my husband this season (that's kinda hard to beat), my mother went all out and bought me an embroidering sewing machine. I haven't cried that much since they bought me my first car. It was way expensive and totally unexpected. When I get my eyesight back in a couple of weeks....I am gonna be all over that thing.

The year is closing out, so it's only appropriate to give some developmental updates before we bid 2010 goodbye....did I really just say that. Wow, this year has flown.
Addison is climbing out of her crib...a lot. I think Michael and I have negotiated to get down the toddler bed. Come to find out, his reasoning for not wanting to stemmed from the fact that she wouldn't be a "baby" anymore. Sadly, I feel his pain. She is an amazing little individual and as much as I love to see her growing and changing, it is sad to see the passing of this small, yet hugely impactful part of her life.
Her vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds. She can copy almost anything you ask her to. She can successfully open and unlock any door, much to our dismay. We haven't ventured too far with the potty thing because she's just not interested. She is interested, however, in the contents of our refrigerator and has developed the strength to actually open the door now. I see many messes to clean up in my future.
I'm not sure if she knew that it was Christmas and so she started to behave or if she's just passing through another phase, but she has been an absolute angel this week. The tantrums are rare and the smiles and laughs are abundant. Ahhhh, my Addison is back.
Here are our Christmas photos. Merry Christmas everyone.
Our yard!
The tree!
Ham and Turkey coma.

The mess that used to be the living room.
video


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Culinary Creations

 Well, I did help create her, but not in the kitchen per se. She's still the cutest little reindeer I've ever seen!
 At the sight of this cake, Addison exclaimed, "Oh No! What Happened? Ho, Ho, Ho!"
My first attempt at a cake pop. They all have flat heads because I couldn't find anything to stand them up in till later, but they do make a cute looking reindeer choir when they're all together like that.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas, Schmistmas!

Christmas. I've been looking forward to this Christmas since last year. I knew that in 2010, Addison would be old enough to actually enjoy some of the festivities and decorations and of course, the presents. However,I'm afraid I have the ho-hums this year. Christmas is being overshadowed by things like the fact that my husband and I can't seem to put up decorations amicably. There must be something in the recipe for decorating and renovating , etc. that is a direct offense to a perfectly good marriage. After two weekends' attempts, we ended the process with a nearly lit tree and a yard half-way complete.
Then there's the fact that I've thought on about 20 different occasions that I really need to wrap presents. I don't even know who I have left to buy for at this point.
And of course,there's all that holiday food. I've declared broccoli casserole as "my dish" this holiday season, so if I'm coming to your house..that's what I'm bringing. I should be very well versed in the BC by the time Christmas day arrives.
In an attempt to reconcile the ho-hums, I've tried scheduling family activities like a breakfast with Santa on Saturday. It's lame for the adults, I know, but that's not the point. It's supposed to provide family time. Besides, I want to see my child scream in terror as I try and hand her over to a fat, white-haired stranger for 3 seconds to attempt a photo. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Normally, I love Christmas. But there's no singing in a choir this year. There's no repeat for the 100th time of some fluffed up teen playing the role of pregnant Mary. There's no "Christmas in Dixie" light display that was free for anyone who wanted to enjoy. There's no magical Christmas morning to look forward to anymore. Christmas was so much fun when we were young. I guess I'm just grieving my loss.
Or maybe I'm just grown. How incredibly sucky it is to be grown sometimes.
I'm still clinging to a hope that having my family all around on Christmas morning will be a grand time. I will listen to Christmas songs constantly until FM 104.3 stops playing them and I will eventually finish my Christmas shopping...before Christmas Eve. I WILL be overly excited about every present my child opens and I'll start traditions of leaving cookies for Santa and food for the reindeer in hopes that my little one finds the magic of Christmas that I used to love. She deserves my efforts even if the ho-hums are smothering me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Learning to Pray

Addison has reached an age where she understands more than she doesn't, so I've taken on the task of teaching her how to pray. It's ironic that I'm choosing this over potty training and dressing herself because I take so little of my time to actually pray myself. As I coach my little one through the process, I'm reminded of the simplicity of starting.... the "Thank yous".
There are lots of manufactured reasons not to pray - guilt, bad time management, ego, anger - and most of the time as adults I think we feel so beat up by life that the thought of a prayer almost seems like a resounding echo of all our wrongs that we'd rather just forget. The less we bring them up, the less they actually count..right?
But starting to pray with my daughter reminded me of where prayer should always begin. With thanks.
As we sit in the glider, we fold our hands. Addison is always so reverent during this time that it surprises me. There's no babble, no squirming...she knows that talking to God is important. And she stops to listen.
We start with our immediate family and our house and then move out toward the outer circles of our life, all the while giving thanks for these people and things that God has given us.
My little one doesn't utter a peep until I say "Amen." A little echo can then be heard from her.."amen."
In this season of Thanksgiving, hopefully it will spur in many and in my family, to start with the basics and be thankful to the One who deserves it the most.
At our house, we're going to keep using it as our pattern on "How to learn to Pray," as I teach my daughter and she reteaches me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

10/23/10

We celebrated our daughter's 2nd birthday with family, friends and the members of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It always amazes me how much preparation goes into a 2-3 hour party. I worked tirelessly to prepare the house and the yard for company. Apparently I don't keep those places consistently presentable.
Today I got my reward for all that hard works. Today, my daughter floated from relative to friend to relative doling out hugs and attention. She showed off her new puppy to her visitors all the while sporting a new outfit and shiny new black shoes.
I was thrilled that she could eat her cake this year with an actual utensil. She hasn't mastered the art of blowing out candles, although she did warn me that they were "hot." I'm so glad that I was able to video the bemused look on her face when we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her. We've been practicing that song all week. Her version is a little shortened to "Happy Daaaaaay!". It's so cute.
Even though we weren't successful at blowing out the candles, she did learn to blow bubbles.
My biggest thrill was watching her rip open her own presents. She chose which one she wanted to open and for the first time ever, she opened her own gifts. She was flippant regarding the clothes, which she promptly unwrapped and threw on her cousin Zach's head. I have no idea why. It was funny though. But she loved her new shoes. Who wouldn't love a pair of flashing, pink and white sneakers?
There were a lot of cool toys and some great books and puzzles in the mix - all of which Addison respectfully played with for a few seconds after opening.
All in all, it was a pretty wonderful day filled with enough sugar to kill a small dog, but also with enough proud moments to fly me to the moon.
And now for the mushy stuff:
My sweet baby is starting her 3rd year of life on this sometimes unlikable planet. To me, she embodies the best of humanity...the most beautiful part of life. She amazes me daily. Feeds my soul with her happy babble. Physically, she's 33lbs and 35 inches. To me that's just a whole lot of amazing.

I wrote this on her birthday and apparently never actually posted it. Maybe I forgot...because I'm now the mother of a 2 year old. It really does change things. I've lost count of the number of tantrums my little wonder has thrown and how many times she's hit her head on the floor in the process. There's no telling how many times "no" has been the standing answer for absolutely any question. And yet, I also am losing track of  how many times I actually understood what she was asking for or answered an actual question that she spoke. This mommyhood stuff is so much fun.

Literal Love

The race will begin soon. Around and around my bathroom ceiling they'll go, following the picture moulding. They will run this race for a while and never seem to get tired of the fact that they're going absolutely nowhere.
The ladybugs have landed.
Every November, they swarm over town. They are in search of the Alpha house. Any big, white house on the block serves as a beacon for the many little red/orange spotted bugs. Fortunately for us, we own several Alpha houses.
Those ladybugs love that house. They love it so much that they are a huge headache for anyone living inside. From now until after the new year I will battle these harmless yet annoying little creatures for my sake and the sake of my tenants. In all, their life is short and for some of the offenders..even shorter.

My daughter has a puppy....Daisy. She loves that puppy more than anything I've ever seen her interact with. She reaches a whole new level of excitement with the sound of a tiny bark. When in the room with Daisy, it is her mission to love Daisy. And sometimes, I fear it will be to death.
With all her strength, she will squeeze Daisy around the neck. She'll bury her face in her fur until she's actually lying on top of the poor dog.  Daisy is a really good natured dog. She bears it with barely a yelp. I hope she knows that Addison is just loving her so much...that Daisy can barely stand it.

The chatter in our house has greatly increased. Addison doesn't need anyone to be there to carry on a conversation. It's very amusing to watch her talk to her baby and bear and change their diapers and guide their hands as she pretends that they are real. Who knew that at 2 she could do all this? I'm still amazed at the learning curve that has taken place for a child of 2 years. If only we continued to learn at such a pace, we'd have colonized Mars by now or discovered new fuels that won't kill the environment. Or even better, we might all have those flying cars that we used to dream we'd have by the year 2000.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Snow White and Big Boy

 Addison has the longest lashes. They are as plush and perfect as the pair you can buy at the drugstore. She's very fair-skinned as well. And then there's Big Boy...her large, toddler-sized dwarf that the rest of the world knows as Dopey. So, it was completely perfect for Addison to be Snow White for Halloween. I think she pulled it off. She never was able to say Trick-or-Treat, but she managed a lot of Thank you's as a consolation. She had so much fun.







2

 It was the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at our house for Addison's birthday. It's her favorite show EVER. She can spot Mickey a mile away. So we celebrated Mouse style. :)
 All the characters contributed to the meal.


 Homemade Mouse Ear Party Hat.
 This year, no one had to help her eat the cake.
She was so excited about her gifts and opened them like a pro.





Wednesday, October 6, 2010

stress

The word stress itself doesn't even represent the complete magnitude of the effect it manages. It's deceptive in that it looks like a small word - but it has 6 letters. stress - orange. See the difference? Both have 6 letters and yet stress looks small. Deceptive. If I were king of the world, stress would always be referred to as S T R E S S...because that's exactly what it feels like. Big and bulky. Huge and heavy.
It's pretty hard to get rid of, too.
If you are to be a responsible contributor to society...if you care in the least about the welfare of your family and friends...if you are in any position in which you have to provide for someone or something else... you will undoubtedly never escape stress.
I have met people who are stress free. Unfortunately for them, they do not meet the previous qualifications.
Nonetheless, they are everywhere...and they cause me stress as well.
I've been delving into the different methods of stress relief lately. Some out of curiosity, but mostly out of necessity.
I've shied away from methods that involve medicine - although the thought of popping a little pill and suddenly being able to handle life better is very appealing.
Instead I do things like - blog. I look for the bright spots in life and I write about them. It has to do with positive thinking and the effect that manually changing your outlook can have on your being.
I also see a therapist regularly. I love her. For one hour, I get to talk about me..just me. I don't have to argue a point. I don't have to justify my feelings. I just get to let my emotions flow as they may. We do try and solve problems of course, but the therapy part is the absolute freedom to just be me....tears, laughs, curse words and all.
I've also learned some interesting stress relieving techniques such as tapping. I don't know if it has a proper name and sometimes, I'm not even sure I'm doing it exactly right. It looks funny to an outsider, but it has a strange calming effect on my body, sending it into another zone - another plane for as long as I do it.
There are simpler ways of stress relief. Why, just the other day, I rolled up the windows and blared "Wild Wild West" as loud as I could stand it. God bless the creators of 93.9 Bob FM where "we play anything" is the theme.
My mother had an interesting outlet of stress relief for us as children. She'd send us to chop wood. It's a shame I live in the city today, or I might practice this method from time to time. Mind you the thought of a 12-14 year old with an axe terrifies me as a mother, but she was from an entirely different era. It did the job.
If I were an exerciserr, I'd probably be less stressed. Or maybe a boxer...yes, knocking the lights out of an opponent is a tremendously satisfying thought. But I'm notoriously unsteady on my feet and completely inept when it comes to sports and 9 times out of 10 I hurt myself. Just ask my Jazzercise instructor who I met a total of 2 times before I threw my back out during a routine never to return again.
In short - as if this entry were short - there are tons of ways to lessen the effects of stress, but besides selling everything and living a monk's life in Tibet, I cannot figure out how to avoid it altogether.
So in the meantime, I'll embrace things like this. Phoebe from FRIENDS and her running style.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

O to live like Mickey Mouse

I watch way too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse these days. Addison insists. The only way I can get her to stop asking to see it is to tell her that Mickey Mouse is sleeping. In reality, he could be, because he only works from 8-9a.m every day.
After much observation, I've come to really envy Mickey's entire life at the Clubhouse and in my dreams, I have a clubhouse of my own.
Who wouldn't love to have a contraption called the "handy helper?" Extra hands that do the simplest things like open doors, but who could also be used to change diapers, fold towels and take out the garbage. Oh the tasks I could think of for those handy helpers!
Then of course there's the fact that you have every mode of transportation available from a car housed in the "shoe garage" to the "glove balloon".
What I really want is a Mouse-ka-Do-er. I don't know how to spell it, but it is omnipotent. It always knows what problems will be encountered and what tools will be needed to accomplish ALL the tasks. Although I'm always amazed at how often a baby elephant is needed as a tool.
But I think the best part of living in a clubhouse would be "Toodles." When you need 'em, Toodles will bring 'em. Can you imagine someone available every minute of the day, ready to provide you with anything you ask for?
Then of course, if the handy helpers don't get all the work done and there are no more tasks that can be accomplished during that day....if Toodles is all out of helpful tools, all I'd have to do is fold the clubhouse back up into it's hidden underground chamber and remember that tomorrow will be saved by three simple words...Meeska, Mooska, Mickey Mouse!!!!
If only.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Babble continued

Had to share tonight's baby babble.

"Bit! Bit! (Book! Book!)
There's a big shoe box.
"Nie, Nie Bit." She puts the books in the box.
"Seep" (Sleep)
"Seep Bit, Nie Nie"

So cute I can't stand it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Addison Babble

It's been a while since I've posted pictures of my cutie patootie. Today is a recap of some of our latest achievements at 22 months.
She's becoming more and more verbal even though most of the time I'm playing a guessing game trying to figure out what she's talking about. Many of her orations start with "bo bo be ba ba ba" or "dooeee dooee dee da"
There are other times when she's very clear and can mimick every word I say. Today she busted out with "Eat". It's the first time she's told me she was hungry.
She really likes reciting our family members names over and over, "mommydaddyaddison, mommydaddyaddison."
She loves Aunt Sandra and her dog, Pearle..."An San" and "Pear". I love her renditions of words - so cute.
And her favorite toys are things like a blueberry scented candle from the dollar store that we salvaged out of Aunt Sandra's yard sale pile. Then there's the swiffer wetjet and Trenton's fan and the ever popular empty diaper box.
She's very adventurous now since she learned to climb. She can climb out of her pack-n-play and climb up in chairs. Just tonight, I caught her up on the bar stool where she had gotten hold of daddy's chocolate iced donuts. She took a bite out of each one. We had to laugh. Sometimes, that's all you can do.
Here are some photos of my angel. She's growing up fast.
Last but not least...a funny video. video